Festivals are a legit excuse for everyone to celebrate and create some beautiful memories. Many might not be aware that in a small province of Thailand, called Chanthaburi, the locals have a unique tradition of celebrating something called Chanthaburi Fruit Festival. Located on the eastern side of Thailand, on the border of Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia, Chanthaburi is 245 km away from Bangkok.
Chanthaburi Fruit Festival Dates
In 2019, the Fruit Festival will be held from 19th May - 27th May.
The city is not a tourist attraction as it is agricultural land with a couple of mining industries in the nearby areas. With barely 30,000 residents, Chanthaburi can be your magical retreat, far away from the urban chaos, if that is what you are looking for when you are visiting this place.
A colourful and delicious extravaganza, the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival traces its origin to centuries ago when it was started. The celebrations which last for nearly ten days in a year, are held from the end of May or beginning around the first week of June. Chanthaburi Fruit Festival is a unique opportunity for visitors to devour the region's annual produce of juicy fresh fruits. The province of Chanthaburi is famous in other parts of the world as the 'Tropical Fruit Bowl of Thailand' which you will realise is fair enough if you get to savour their rambutans, mangosteens and the ever-pungent durians. Apart from the regular selling of delicious fruits, there is also a wide range of exciting activities that are held at frequent intervals - a free fruit buffet, durian speed eating competition, or a sampling of durian varieties at the booth run by the Chanthaburi Horticultural Research Center. Now that sure sounds fun!
What is Chanthaburi Fruit Festival?
Being held at an ideal location with perfect conditions to grow fruits, the festival was earlier known as World Durian Festival, but later, it was given a new name, The Chanthaburi Fruit Festival. This made more sense as the festival has many other fruits as well on display other than the infamous durians. In the early years, the Fruit Festival was held at narrow sidewalks surrounding King Taksin Lake Park in downtown Chanthaburi. Later in the year, 2015, the Festival moved 12 km from its actual location. As the new location was outside the city, hence, it caused severe confusion in the non-Thai speaking population in the region. Over the years, the Festival has significantly expanded, and as a result, now, there is also a trolley that takes the visitors on a ride to the grounds and the parking lot to make their experience more convenient.
The Chanthaburi Fruit Festival is spread out over the entire perimeter of the lake, segregated into sections. At the entrance, you might find some magnificent fruit sculptures welcoming you. There is a farmer's market where you can taste the fruit and then buy; there is a separate food section where you can sit by the water and enjoy a snack or two. There is also a large section which is like a traditional fair with the games and food stalls serving local delicacies.
The annual gathering rejoices the overall produce that is collected from the orchards in the agricultural land. Among the fruits, Durian, which is considered to be the King of Fruits is the most popular fruit that can be spotted at the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival. The farmers in the region grow different variants of durians than any other crop. One can also spot a wide variety of tropical fruits at the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival.
Where To Go?
If you have the big question in mind about how to reach the Fruit Festival then head out to the heart of Mueang Chanthaburi. Once you reach Somdej Pra Chao Tak Sin Maharat Public Park, you will eventually find the exact location of the Fruit Festival. Although Somdej Pra Chao Tak Sin Maharat Public Park can be located on the maps, locals also refer to it as Tung Na Choey Park. However, you won't be able to spot it on Google no matter how hard you try.
Kinds of Fruits in the Festival
We all know that processed foods do not carry any health benefits and hence, one should avoid them as much as they can. The unique thing about this Fruit Festival is that it prominently features the fresh fruits rather than processed or baked fruit products. There is no doubt that the fruits available at the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival are of remarkable quality. Some of the fruits which can be found and savoured at the stalls and markets are Mangosteen (known as the queen of fruits), Dragon Fruit, Rambutan, Thai bananas (you can spot a minimum of four variants), Jackfruit, Water Spinach, Nam Dok Mai Mangoes, Lychees, Durian (more than six different types of Durians), Pineapples, Salak, Watermelons, Cherimoya and Longan.
Whether you know it or not, Raw Foodism is a real thing which primarily means that they consume 75 per cent of food in its rawest form - unprocessed, uncooked food, mostly organic. For them, the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival is a pure delight for all the right reasons. Many Raw Food Eaters hold their annual meet up here as they treat it more like a holiday where they get together and have merry times. A couple of beautiful beaches are merely at a distance of half an hour away from the Chanthaburi province where people head to, for a vacation. Some of the beaches that are not far away are Chao Lao Beach and Lam Sadet Beach.
The Fascinating Fruit Floats
Yes, fancy Fruit Floats are another integral part of the Chanthaburi Fruit Flower. Participants decorate their floats with colourful orchids, durians, mangosteens, rambutans and other flowers as an impressive attempt to win the best fruit float competition. Thai Orchids and Roses featured on these Floats are commonly available flowers in the province. These Floats depict various scenes from Thai history in gorgeous colours.
Wood Furniture Stalls
For the 10-day long Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, local craftsmen and artisans also come up with their stalls displaying wooden furniture. These stalls showcase their exceptionally great skills of wood carving as the massive furniture pieces are spread out in the area for sale. If you are fortunate enough, you might even come across large tables which are up to thirty feet long. The best part about this wooden furniture sale is that they are sold at half the price at what they are sold in Bangkok.
Thailand is known for its beaches, markets, spas, nightlife and food which together makes it a popular tourist destination. However, now that you know all about the Chanthaburi Fruit Festival, you have another stunning reason to visit Thailand around May and June to taste the exotic tropical fruits. While planning a visit, in case you are having any second thought, you must always remember that these luscious fruits are exclusively available in Thailand. Click Instagram-worthy pictures of the Fruit Floats because they undoubtedly are a delight to watch as you visit the world's biggest Durian Festival. The other important thing that you must always remember is to let the sun sink low so that you can stroll around the park and be amazed at its glory with the mesmerising sights around you.